Carraro holding out for NSW milestone

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Matt Carraro will bring up his 50th Super Rugby match against the Bulls on Saturday night, but it’s a milestone in four more games that he is holding out for.

Four caps for the Brumbies when he started his career helped him reach this landmark but it’s the NSW 50 that he wants.

Carraro was contemplating retirement at the end of last season and said he was still undecided over his future beyond this year.

“It’s not really something I’ve thought that much about. I potentially could’ve retired last year so it’s something I wouldn’t ever have hit,” he said.

“So I’m pretty lucky to get the opportunity to get that 50 Super Rugby caps but when I did come back I set the goal I wanted 50 Super Rugby caps for my state so that’s the bigger target that hopefully comes in a few weeks.”

Retirement wasn’t always on the cards for Carraro last season, but injuries in the final two games of the year put it firmly on the agenda.

He will be taking a wait and see approach as the final rounds of this year’s Super Rugby come close.

“I’ve got to see the way I finish up the season,” he said. 

“Last year with four rounds to go I would've thought I would played for another two years then I broke my hand, fractured my shoulder in the last two games. Those sort of things start to change your mind a bit.

“(You wonder) whether your body can handle it anymore but given the opportunity to refresh over the off-season, I was obviously raring to go again.

“At the end of this season we’ll see what happens, can’t make any promises as yet." 

Carraro has been coming off the bench in recent weeks for the Waratahs and said it was a role that he was still getting his head around.

“Been on the bench the last three weeks, it’s a different focus to starting,” he said.

“Got to have your head around having an impact but also got to be ready to come on any time.

“When it gets into that second half and you’re in the last 20 minutes of the game, you hopefully get some time, and you’re ready to step up a gear and get as many involvements as you can,” he said.

The Waratahs will field an unchanged lineup this weekend for the first time this season and it’s a welcome development for the side.

With three wins on the trot, club captain Dave Dennis said wrestling another week of momentum with a second straight home win would be invaluable.

“It’s a good thing to have in sport,” he said. 

“We’re conscious that we've got three really tough games now before the breaks (starting with) the Bulls this week.”

“Apart from their blemish last week down in Canberra they’ve been pretty dominant over the Australian teams so it’s a really good challenge.” 

With a game in hand over conference leaders, the Brumbies, the Waratahs are for the moment in charge of their fate and Dennis said it felt like they’d come a long way from a stuttering start.

“Only a few weeks ago, it doesn’t feel like that long ago, we were scrapping and fighting for points.

“Now we’re pretty much in control of what happens over the next six or seven games so that’s a nice position to begin but it means nothing."